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‘It’s getting silly’ - Once peaceful street marred by parking battle

PUBLISHED: 12:05 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 27 February 2019

Residents of Northfield Gardens in Wymondham have been embroiled for years in parking arguments. Left, Andrew Beer. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

Residents of Northfield Gardens in Wymondham have been embroiled for years in parking arguments. Left, Andrew Beer. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

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Householders say a once peaceful street of bungalows has been marred by a long-running battle over car parking.

Bungalows in Northfield Gardens, a tight-knit community embroiled in years of parking disputes. PHOTO; Sophie SmithBungalows in Northfield Gardens, a tight-knit community embroiled in years of parking disputes. PHOTO; Sophie Smith

Residents say a decision by Saffron Housing Trust to build a home on a car park in Northfield Gardens in Wymondham in around 2014 has caused neighbourly disputes, anti-social behaviour (ASB) letters of warning, and pleas from town councillors.

In a complex mostly lived in by a “quiet, tight-knit” community of older or disabled people, parking space shortages have been exacerbated by an influx of working-age adults with vehicles in recent years.

With motorists forced to park partially on the pavements, disabled residents say they have trouble using the path safely. When one person attempted to create more spaces by parking on their own front lawn, everyone on the street was issued with an ASB warning by the housing trust, including an 80-year-old woman.

Andrew Beer, resident and former chairman of Saffron’s customer advisory panel, said: “It’s getting silly. They are talking about doing something but it’s an ongoing battle.”

Wymondham town councillor Douglas Underwood said: “It isn’t very good for someone with a disability. I have been corresponding with Saffron encouraging them to solve the problem.

“Saffron’s argument is that the road and path comes under the council’s highways department or police so they don’t have responsibility.

“While it’s not illegal to park partly on pavements it is illegal to cause a severe obstruction. They have a moral responsibility to everyone to take responsibility and find a resolution to the problem.”

A Saffron Housing spokesman said that tenancies include parking clauses in which residents are expected to park considerately and safely, and that parking on public highways is a police matter.

The spokesman added that the trust recently wrote to residents about the issue and regularly visit to speak with them.

They said: “Saffron Housing are committed to providing much needed local homes for people, and the new home provided in this location was subject to the usual planning process and consents.

“A parking survey was undertaken with results being considered ahead of planning permission being granted.”

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